11 Reasons Why Your Blog Isn’t Making Money

It’s the million-dollar question: is your blog actually making any money? If you’re in the majority, probably not — or at least, not as much as you would like to make.

WordPress blogs can be a great source of income, but they will fall flat if you don’t perfect your content, optimize your site, and market your product. So let’s take a look at 11 reasons why your blog may not be making money — and the changes you can make today to get the dough rolling in.

1. Your Target Audience Is Too Broad

The best blogs cater to a narrow niche group. If you are aiming wide, you’ll have a harder time convincing visitors to come back for something only you can offer. To hone in, try creating a detailed profile of your ideal customer (his or her worries, age, hometown, family details, favorite social sites) and tailor your content to fit.

2. Your Content Is Self-Centered

Much like a bad date, if all you do is talk about yourself — your business, your news, your products — no one will care enough to sign up for more. Take the spotlight off yourself and point it at what actually matters to your readers.

3. Nothing Is for Sale

Unless you’re getting a huge stream of traffic or attracting high-paying advertisers, you’re not going to earn enough from ad revenue alone. Rather, your WordPress blog is a springboard for other products and services, like tutorials, speaking gigs, consultations, ebooks, courses, and more. Monetize in a way that makes sense for your audience and content. For example, if you’re a DIYer, sell handmade crafts or kits. If you blog is about sewing, sell patterns. If you blog about being a music teacher, sell curriculums or lessons.

4. The Push to Buy Comes Too Soon

Is your landing page one giant ad for your product? Before potential customers will even think about pulling out the credit card, they need to be convinced you’re an expert with something to offer. Create original, clever, click-worthy content to offer alongside your product that establishes your voice and and sets you up as a trusted expert.

5. You Aren’t Asking for the Buy

If you want site visitors to make a purchase or subscribe, don’t beat around the bush. Make sure every post includes a clear call to action, and give customers a reason to act now: a sale that ends tomorrow or a deal for the first 50 subscribers, along with a confidence-boosting trial period or guarantee.

6. The Content Doesn’t Engage

Site hits won’t convert into repeat visitors or customers if the content doesn’t draw them in. Tell stories, share experiences, and give original advice. Craft posts that offer something new — don’t rehash an article from someone else’s blog. And never stop learning: keep your content fresh by increasing your expertise.

7. The Blog Isn’t Getting Enough Traffic

Your blog has ads and affiliate links in place, a product ready to sell, and killer content — but your work means nothing if nobody sees any of it. Study up on ways to build traffic, from SEO to social media, and evaluate where you may have gone wrong.

8. You Rely on Your Gut

Instead, trust your customers: find out what they are thinking with a little A/B testing. Question everything, from the color of your subscribe button to the overall theme to a specific headline. A/B testing optimizes your website’s potential and takes the guesswork out of catering to your customers.

9. Your Blog Is a One-Trick Pony

Once a customer makes that first purchase, chances are great they’ll buy again. But if you have nothing else to offer, you’re losing out. Can you add more advanced tutorials, one-on-one consultations to supplement your ecourse, or additional content in a new format, like a podcast? Draw customers back after that first buy with regular and engaging emails teasing your additional offerings.

10. You Don’t Post Reviews

Some people are trendsetters. But most of us are trend-followers, and we don’t want to be the first ones to take the plunge. Assure your readers that “everyone is doing it” with product reviews and spotlights on who’s using your product and how.

11. You Gave up Too Soon

Transforming your blog from hobby to cash cow could take a year or more of hustle and hard work. Give yourself time to learn your audience, tune your voice, and perfect the product. Don’t be afraid to try something new — or to start over.  

Sara Atwood

Sara Atwood is a freelance writer and business magazine editor passionate about startups, business trends, great stories, and chocolate ice cream.

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